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SGT Unit Supply Specialist
SSG Robert Mark Odom
by Courtney Kube and Dan De Luce
WASHINGTON — During the first three months of 2021, the Taliban stepped up attacks against the Afghan people, maintained close ties with Al Qaeda and actively planned for large-scale offensives — all while peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government failed to make any progress, according to a new report by the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General.

"U.S. Forces-Afghanistan reported a historic increase in enemy-initiated attacks since the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement, with nearly 37 percent more enemy-initiated attacks this quarter than during the same period in 2020," the report from the Pentagon's internal watchdog said about Operation Freedom Sentinel, the name of the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan.

Citing information provided by Resolute Support, the NATO mission in Afghanistan, the inspector general found that enemy-initiated attacks in the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2021 remained above historical averages, with 11,551 reported this quarter and 10,431 last quarter.

Enemy-initiated attacks for the past three quarters have been at the highest levels since Operation Freedom Sentinel began in January 2015, "indicating that the Taliban intensified attacks" against the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces "after the signing of the February 2020 U.S.-Taliban agreement," the inspector general found.
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